Types of Car Insurance

Types of car insurance
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Seven Types of Car Insurance Coverages

car insurance coverage It’s important to have car insurance. It helps you stay protected in case you’re in an accident or something happens to your vehicle. There are many types of car insurance and it may seem difficult to decide what types of auto insurance you need. The car insurance coverage types you are required to get will depend on where you live. We can help you understand the different options available to you and help you find the most affordable rates on the car insurance coverages that fit your situation best.
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AARP Auto Insurance 101

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1. Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily injury liability coverage can help protect you against financial loss if you hurt someone in an accident. For example, if you accidentally run a red light and injure someone, this coverage can help pay for their medical treatment. Most states require you to have bodily injury liability coverage.

2. Property Damage Liability

Property damage liability coverage pays for damage that your car causes to property you don’t own. This includes fences, mailboxes and other cars. For example, if you take out a neighbor’s mailbox while driving in a heavy rain storm, this liability insurance can help pay for the damages. Most states require that you carry property damage liability coverage.

3. Collision Coverage

Collision insurance helps pay for damage done to your car if you hit another vehicle or object. For example, if you back into a tree, this coverage can help pay for the damages to your car. Collision insurance is not required by state laws, but your lender may require that you purchase this coverage.

4. Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive insurance pays to repair damage to your car from things like:
  • Natural disasters
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Collision with an animal
For example, if you park your car under a tree and heavy snow takes down a branch that breaks your windshield, comprehensive coverage, often called “other than collision coverage,” can help pay the cost of repairs. Just like collision coverage, comprehensive insurance is not state required, but if you finance or lease your car, your lender may require you to have it.

5. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage helps cover damages if you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have car insurance or doesn’t have enough car insurance to cover the costs of damages and injuries. This insurance is split into three coverages:
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage helps pay bodily injury costs for you and your passengers if you’re hit by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run driver.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage coverage helps pay for damage to your car if it's hit by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run driver.
  • Underinsured motorist coverage helps pay for bodily injury if you’re in an accident with a driver that doesn’t have enough insurance.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is not required in all states. It’s important to check your state to see what the minimum requirements are for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage where you live.

6. Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payments coverage helps pay for medical expenses and rehabilitation. This optional coverage may not be available in all states. However, if you have medical payments coverage and get into a car accident in another state, your coverage applies no matter where your accident happens.

7. Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, also known as no-fault insurance, helps pay for losses related to injuries from a car accident, no matter who was at fault. In addition to medical bills, personal injury protection (PIP) can also help cover funeral costs or lost wages. Keep in mind this is not available in all states, but is required in certain states.

Additional Types of Auto Insurance Coverage You May Need

Full Glass Coverage

types of auto insurance Full auto glass insurance can help pay for your car’s headlights, mirrors and window repairs with no deductible. For example, let’s say a thief breaks in by smashing your car window. The estimate to repair it is $600. If you only have comprehensive auto insurance, you’ll pay the deductible before your policy kicks in to repair your windshield. With full glass coverage, the cost of repairing the window will be covered in full with no out-of-pocket costs to you. Keep in mind that this type of insurance can vary by state and isn’t always available.

Car Towing Coverage

Car towing coverage helps pay towing and labor charges associated with getting your vehicle running again in the event of a breakdown. For example, if your car battery dies on the interstate, this coverage can help pay for the costs of having your car jump-started. Towing coverage is optional and your state will not require you to have this coverage.

Personal Umbrella Insurance

Personal umbrella insurance goes beyond accidents and damages. It can help if a covered loss exceeds the liability coverage limits of your home or auto policy. For example, if someone sues you and the damages are more than the liability limit on your primary coverage, umbrella insurance can help pay the excess costs. This coverage is optional and not required by law in any state, but you may want to consider adding it to your current coverage for extra protection.

Gap Insurance

Your gap insurance can help pay the difference between your car’s actual cash value and the amount you owe on your car loan if it’s stolen or totaled. Most people buy this coverage for leased or financed vehicles. This type of coverage is not mandated by state law, but if you have a car loan, gap insurance may be a coverage requirement from your lender.

Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage

Rental car reimbursement coverage, also known as transportation expense coverage, helps pay for a rental car in the event of a covered comprehensive or collision loss. For example, if you slide off a wet road and crash into a tree while driving, this coverage could help pay for the charges to rent a replacement vehicle while your car gets repaired. This coverage is not required by law in any state, but may be an optional coverage that would be helpful if you were in a car accident and couldn’t use your car temporarily.

Rental Car Insurance

If you’re renting a car for leisure, you’ll need to have liability coverage. Rental companies usually offer rental car insurance in the form of a collision damage waiver or loss damage waiver. Signing these will keep you from being held financially responsible if there’s damage to the car or someone breaks into it. However, your existing car insurance may also cover damage to your rental car if you’re in a car accident. If you plan to rent a car, call your insurance company beforehand to be sure you’re covered.

Get Car Insurance Coverage at a Rate You Can Afford

car insurance coverage types Car accidents can be costly. With the AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford, you can feel confident behind the wheel knowing you’re protected.1 Tailor your car insurance coverage to get what you want at a rate you can afford. To learn more about the types of auto insurance coverage available to you, call one of our specialists at 800-243-5860. You can also get a car insurance quote online.
auto insurance definition

Car Insurance in Plain English

Quick answers and easy-to-understand auto insurance definitions written with you in mind.
To learn more, read through our auto insurance definitions page.
Summaries of coverages and policy features are for informational purposes only. In the event of loss, the actual terms and conditions set forth in your policy will determine your coverage.

AARP and its affiliates are not insurers. Paid endorsement. The Hartford pays royalty fees to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. AARP membership is required for Program eligibility in most states.

The AARP Automobile Insurance Program from The Hartford is underwritten by Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates, One Hartford Plaza, Hartford, CT 06155. It is underwritten in AZ by Hartford Insurance Company of the Southeast; in CA by Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company; in WA, by Hartford Casualty Insurance Company; in MN, by Sentinel Insurance Company; and in MA, MI and PA, by Trumbull Insurance Company. The AARP Homeowners Insurance Program from The Hartford is underwritten by Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates, One Hartford Plaza, Hartford, CT 06155. It is underwritten in AZ by Hartford Insurance Company of the Southeast; in CA by Property and Casualty Insurance Company of Hartford; in WA, MI and MN, by Trumbull Insurance Company; in MA, by Trumbull Insurance Company, Sentinel Insurance Company, Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest, and Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company; and in PA, by Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company. Not available in all states, including FL. Specific features, credits and discounts may vary and may not be available in all states in accordance with state filings and applicable law. Applicants are individually underwritten and some may not qualify. The Program is currently unavailable in Canada and U.S. Territories or possessions.

1 In Texas, the Auto Program is underwritten by GEICO Texas County Mutual Insurance Company through Hartford Fire General Agency. Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates are not financially responsible for insurance products underwritten and issued by GEICO Texas County Mutual Insurance Company. The Home Program is underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company. Effective 10/16/21, the Auto Program is underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company.

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